What Math Equations Should I Know for the GED Test?

by Flora Richards-Gustafson, Demand Media Google

The mathematics section of the GED test contains two parts. In the first, you can use a calculator to solve the multiple choice math problems. In the second section, you have to trade in your calculator for scratch paper. While the GED test booklet provides you with a list of formulas that you may need during the exam, it’s up to you to understand how the equations work.

Algebra and Order of Operations

During the GED math test, you may need to solve problems that contain decimals, fractions, percentages and ratios. As you work on these problems, use the basic rules for calculating fractions and positive and negative numbers. When you solve problems in parentheses, follow the order of operations rules.


The geometry problems in the GED test may ask you to find the area or perimeter of shapes like squares, triangles or rectangles. In addition, you may need to find the volume of a three-dimensional figure, like a cone. The test booklet provides you with the appropriate equations, but you must be familiar with terms like “length,” “width” and “height.”

Coordinate Planes

The more advanced math questions on the GED require you to calculate the distance between two points on a grid or the slope of a line on a coordinate plane. The equation (y₂-y₁) ÷ (x₂-x₁) represents the slope of a line, but the following terms represent two points on a line: (x₁, y₁) and (x₂, y₂).

Data and Statistics

As you work on the GED math sections, you’ll find questions that ask about data, probability and statistics. Probability deals with the likelihood of an outcome, which you usually express as a ratio. In regards to statistical information, you analyze numbers per their mean, median and mode.

About the Author

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.

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